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To 'live salty,' we have to get into the ocean of life

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I recently vacationed in Florida and found the mantra “Live salty!” everywhere.

It is obviously about more than living near the ocean, because you don’t “get salty” by simply walking by or looking at the ocean, you have to play in it. And that is exactly what I did!

My family spent one whole day on the beach, and we definitely played in the ocean.

Initially, it was a lot of fun trying to run through the ocean waves, until a big one hit me in the face and knocked my sunglasses off. I definitely experienced “living salty” at that moment. I was a little dazed by the big wave, and a little surprised by exactly how salty the water was to the taste.

It was still a great afternoon, and I will remember it for many years to come. By the way, a personal accomplishment was that I wasn’t sunburned!

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There's a great Scripture passage about “living salty” I'm sure many of you remember.

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?" — Matthew 5:13

This Scripture passage is not meant to be taken literally. We are supposed to see it as an analogy about how to live life. This passage came to mind as I saw “Live salty” everywhere in Florida. I think “Live salty” could be a modern-day version of “Be salt of the earth.”

To “live salty,” we have to get into the ocean of life, even with its waves and turbulence, and participate and try to enjoy it. This is where memories are made and bonds are formed.

No one has ever told you that life was easy! In fact, many people have burdens that are very hard. I know many single parents who are financially struggling right now, and I have a distant relative who has been struggling with cancer for the better part of two years. Then, there are those people I know who are struggling with mental health. None of these are easy burdens.

I am sure you know many people in your life who are struggling, and possibly yourself, as well. In the midst of this, it can be very easy to become jaded about this world. The economy is bad, the war in Ukraine is horrible, and your job or family is not going well. We could all make our own list.

If we are to “live salty,” we need to take care of ourselves — eat well, get good sleep, exercise, and pray with our church community. In order to be able to be present and loving to those in our lives who need us, we need to take care of ourselves. There is no other way.

The state of Florida marketing department was pretty smart when they came up with “Live salty." They really want you to enjoy the ocean. Our task is to also enjoy life. We cannot control who gets cancer, or the amount of pain a family member endures in their life, but we can still find joy in our daily journey. We can still add flavor to those relationships in how we care for them.

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Remember, “Live salty!”

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Mark Nuehring is director of faith formation at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Rochester. "From the Pulpit" features reflections from area religious leaders.

From the Pulpit" features reflections from area religious leaders. To contribute, email us at life@postbulletin.com with "From the Pulpit" in the subject line.

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